Monday, December 31, 2012

Ruth Fertel's Plaquemines Parish Oyster Dressing, a recipe

Ruth Fertel was the founder of Ruth's Chris, one of the most successful franchise restaurants ever. The story of her life is mesmerizing. Born and raised in a Plaquemines Parish river town, she was a memorable Louisiana character. Here is one of her favorite recipes.

Plaquemines Oyster Dressing

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Horny Turtles


Yes, it's what you think it is. About a month ago, I noticed these turtles outside my office, going at it in broad daylight. For shame! Does wildlife have no decency? Oh well! Maybe there will be a bunch of new baby turtles come spring.

Eric'sWeb

Friday, December 28, 2012

Marilyn's Holiday Prime Rib

When she was much younger, Marilyn worked as a waitress at a restaurant on the pier in Long Beach, California. The chef could cook like no other, and he also had a temper. Once, when someone sent a steak back to the kitchen for the second time because they didn't think it was done enough, he tossed it in hot oil and deep fried it before sending it back to the person that had complained. Another time, when Marilyn walked into the kitchen when he was in an unexpected snit, he threw a butcher's knife that stuck in the wall by her head. Though the chef was a bit sensitive (to say the least!) she learned his secret for cooking prime rib to perfection. Here is a pic of the one Marilyn cooked us for Christmas.

Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Ate too much! Drank too much! Too much fun! Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayans, Doomsday, and the Black Cup of Oklahoma


Sun Sign
Black Cup

 
Ancient Mayans seemed to think the world would end on December 21, 2012. Though accomplished astronomers, the Mayans missed on their prediction. Perhaps a slight adjustment in the universe occurred. We’ll likely never know.
A similar civilization existed in the Midwestern part of the United States, from settlements near the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. These early Americans built large villages along the main rivers beginning around 800 A.D. The Spiro Mounds in eastern Oklahoma is one of these settlements.

Thousands of artifacts, including intricately engraved seashells, have been collected from Spiro. Anthropologists call the early Americans that populated the settlement Mississippians. One of the artifacts found at Spiro, and at other Mississippian settlements, is the black cup. During rituals, Mississippians would drink strong, highly caffeinated teas from the black cup until they vomited, ridding their bodies of evil and facilitating the ability to predict the future.
In my paranormal mystery novel Bones of Skeleton Creek, gumshoe Buck McDivit meets Esme, a mystic healer, and possibly the last Mississippian. With her help, he takes a dream walk and visits the Great Spirit. They puff a cloud blower and drink from the black cup until Buck gains insight into the mystery he is trying to solve.
Today is December 21, 2012. The world hasn’t ended, at least yet. It doesn’t mean the ancient Mayans, Incas and Mississippians didn’t have considerable knowledge about the world as we know it. It simply means the asteroids, or whatever celestial objects were supposed to collide with our planet became somehow shunted by a millisecond or so.
Many of the heavenly secrets discovered by the ancients are lost forever. And then again, maybe not. I'm going to fire up my own cloud blower and slug a few shots of strong coffee from my black cup. Maybe by tomorrow I'll make a few predictions of my own.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Infamous Though Largely Forgotten Penn Square Bank Tower

Penn Square Tower
Here is a pic of the Penn Square Tower in Oklahoma City, built toward the end of the 80s oil boom, and a symbol of what brought the industry down.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Aunt Carmol's Southern Tomato Soup - a weekend recipe

I visited New Orleans for the first time in the fifties. My Aunt Carmol was a school teacher and gave brother Jack and me daily guided tours of the city while we were there. Aunt Carmol was also a wonderful cook, and especially liked preparing and serving authentic Creole dishes. Jack and I loved Aunt Carmol’s Southern Tomato Soup. Try it. I’ll bet you will too.

Ingredients

• 2 quarts tomatoes
• 1 cucumber, peeled and cut small
• 1 onion, large, sliced
• 1 dozen okra, sliced
• 1 ham bone, large
• 1 Tbsp flour
• Salt to taste
• Cayenne to taste
• 3 pats butter

Directions

Cook tomatoes in three pints of water for 10 minutes. Drain and save the water. Press tomatoes through a sieve. Add cucumber, onion, okra, hambone, and the saved water to the tomatoes. Simmer for 3 hours. Combine flour with cold water to form a paste. Add to soup before serving, along with salt, cayenne, and butter.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Louisiana Tech Afraid to Play Old Rival

I graduated college many years ago. The school, at the time, was Northeast Louisiana State College. My first three years there, the football team never won a single game. My senior year, they tied a game. This year, my alma mater, now ULM was wonderful in football. The quarterback is phenomenal.
While I was at NLSU, we were in the Gulf South Conference, along with Louisiana Tech. Some of you might remember. That's where Terry Bradshaw played ball in college. Louisiana Tech was 30 miles away in Ruston. My four years at Northeast Louisiana there was a rivalry like no other.
My business partner graduated from La. Tech. Now, they've rejected an offer to play ULM in the Independence Bowl In Shreveport, LA. I'm blown away! I guess old memories never die. Louisiana Tech is afraid to play ULM in a bowl because they have so many bad memories of having their asses kicked, so many times.
If you are afraid to play ULM, then just say so. I can recognize a coward when I see one.

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from the Wilder Clan


Kate, Marilyn & Shannon

Shannon, Marilyn Scotty, Kate

Kate, Scotty, Shannon, Eric
 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Earthquake in Oklahoma

Though Oklahoma is known more for its tornados than its earthquakes, it has experienced more than its share of the latter lately. Here is a report from the Edmond Sun that describes today's Oklahoma County earthquake as sounding like a sonic boom. Though only a few miles away, I didn't feel it. During an earthquake last fall I thought my house was coming down.

Earthquake in Oklahoma

Eric'sWeb

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rougarou in the Basement Freezer

Garden District  residents are unaware that one of their neighbors has kept a rougarou (Cajun werewolf) frozen in their basement freezer for forty years.   When a killer hurricane takes direct aim at New Orleans, Wyatt Thomas, the French Quarter’s favorite sleuth, is called into action.  Before the hurricane strikes, Wyatt and N.O.P.D. Homicide detective Tony Nicosia must deal with the thawing rougarou, and solve two heinous murders at a monastery in the secluded, south Louisiana wetlands. Primal Creatures is the third novel in the Wyatt Thomas French Quarter Mystery Series.


Please check out Primal Creatures, and the entire French Quarter Mystery Series at  Eric's Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBook author pages

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New French Quarter Mystery - coming in December


When hired by a movie producer New Orleans detective Wyatt Thomas travels to a remote, south Louisiana monastery to investigate the death of a popular actor. Was the killing the result of a magic spell, a voodoo curse, or was the victim torn apart by a rougaroua Cajun werewolf? As a major hurricane looms just offshore, Wyatt races to solve the mystery while trying to avoid the same fate as the actor.  Primal Creatures is the third novel in the Wyatt Thomas French Quarter Mystery series that includes Big Easy and City of Spirits. Read it in December.
Eric'sWeb

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Oklahoma Flowering Vine - pics

 








Edmond is the third largest city in Oklahoma. Though mostly urban, there are many wooded creeks and undeveloped areas. My office is near such a creek and undeveloped, wooded area. Last week there were eight wild turkeys outside my office. There is a vine growing near the parking lot that flowers abundantly any time it rains (rare during the past two years of drought conditions here in Oklahoma.) They are bigger than morning glories and look like moonflowers, except they bloom during the day. These flowers were likely planted by some early settler, fifty, maybe a hundred years ago. Maybe someone that left for California on Route 66 during the Dust Bowl days. Does anyone know what they are?

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Mama Mulate's Spicy Avocado Bisque - a weekend recipe

Mama likes avocados, cold soups, and an occasional nip of gin. It’s understandable why she likes this recipe. What’s not to like?

Ingredients

• 2 avocados
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• ¼ cup grapefruit juice
• 1 jigger gin
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper
• ½ tsp chili powder
• ¼ tsp paprika
• 4 cups jellied chicken consomm√©
• Grapefruit slices for garnish

Directions

Peel and deseed avocados. Force pulp through a fine sieve. Add grapefruit juice and cream to avocado pulp, and then puree. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, and paprika. Combine gin, jellied chicken consommé, and pureed mixture. Blend until smooth. Chill soup in the refrigerator before serving, and then serve in chilled cups garnished with grapefruit slices.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kindred Spirits - a short story

Fog cloaked the restaurant with fingers of ghostly gloom. The illusion exacerbated my depression, almost causing me to reconsider my need for an adult beverage.

There are two Shrimper’s restaurants in town, one on the lake and one adjacent to an old graveyard. Waiters and bartenders call the restaurant on the lake Lakeside, the other Graveside. An orange moon peeked through damp clouds, the parking lot empty as I entered Graveside. It didn’t matter because I only wanted to commiserate with a double vodka.

Except for a young woman drinking alone at the bar, the place was empty. She smiled when I grabbed the stool beside her. She was a knockout, her slinky white sleeveless dress riding up over dimpled knees for more than a peek of black mesh hose. Her high-heels were red, matching the color of her lips. She had dark eyes so limpid, you could almost go swimming in them. I only had to look once to know I was ready to take the plunge. She stroked a strand of short brunette hair that highlighted ringlets of gold dangling from succulent earlobes.

The bartender’s words shattered my momentary fantasy.

“What's up?”

“Afraid to tell you,” I said, awash in a sudden testosterone dream.

“Double Grey Goose?” he asked.

“And a drink for this lovely lady,” I said.

“Thanks,” she said. “Mind if my girlfriend joins us?” She motioned to a gorgeous woman that had walked up behind us. “This is Kathy. And you are?”

“Eric,” I said, trying not to stammer.

Kathy was dressed identically to Marsha, except her slinky dress was black. Her lips and nails were also red and I could almost smell pheromones oozing from her lovely pores. I felt like a male dog must feel when he encounters a bitch in heat. In this case, two bitches.

Sliding off my stool, I let Kathy sit by her friend and moved to the one next to it.

“You sit in the middle, Eric. I can talk to Marcia any time.”

Marcia and Kathy were both gorgeous, one dark, the other radiant flashes of reflected light every time she smiled.

Neither answered when I asked, “What do you do for a living?"

When they went to the ladies room I motioned for the bartender.

"You know those two?”

“Seen them before.”

“Hookers?”

“No way. I’ve never seen them leave with anyone. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen them leave.”

“What do you mean?”

“They just sort of disappear.”

“Walk their tab?”

“No, someone always buys their drinks.”

“Hmm!” I said.

Marsha and Kathy returned before I could question the bartender further.

“Miss us?” Marcia asked.

“You bet I did,” I said as they smothered me in a group hug.

“The moon if full tonight,” Kathy said.

“Beautifully full,” Marcia added.

Kathy put her arms around my neck. I could almost touch her lips with my own. “Would you like to come outside with us?”

The bartender nodded when I said, “I’ll be back.”

The moon had turned to cheddar cheese as I followed them out of Graveside. Kathy stopped beside a silver Corvette.

“Gorgeous car,” she said, backing against the curved vehicle.

When she opened her arms wide, I grabbed her. We were soon sprawled on the hood of the Corvette, Kathy’s skirt hiked up over her waist and my pants down to my ankles. Marcia finally broke our enraptured spell.

“I haven’t seen a show like that in forever. You two okay?”

Kathy grinned. “I don’t know what’s hotter-my pussy, or my bare ass on this hot hood.

Pulling up my pants, I tucked in my shirt and glanced around the dark parking lot to see if anyone other than Marcia had witnessed our bawdy performance.

“You go, girl,” Marcia said, giving Kathy a big hug. “Next time, it’s my turn.”

“This your car?” I asked.

She just grinned. “We walked.”

I peered across the dark parking lot lighted only by a single street lamp.

"You live near here?"

"Very near."

“Then I'll drive you home.” I said.

Kathy just shook her head. “Walk with us if you want.”

I followed them to the entrance of the nearby graveyard.

“Spirits are out tonight,” Marcia said, squeezing my hand.

“Ever see a ghost?” Kathy said.

“Why do you ask?”

“Just curious. Would you like to?”

“Probably scare the daylights out of me.”

“All ghosts aren’t frightening,” she said. “Come with us. Maybe we’ll see some.”

“Sounds creepy.”

“Don't be frightened by death.”

They grabbed my hands and led me through the wrought iron entrance, fairly dancing as we raced to the top of a gentle hill surrounded by polished gravestones. We stopped at an ornate crypt constructed of gray marble. The face of the crypt appeared blue and alive as it reflected muted light from the full moon. Marcia and Kathy pulled me toward the grave.

“Now it’s my turn.”

Kathy watched as Marcia lay on the ground in front of the headstone, pulling me on top of her. I was powerless to resist as a strange and erotic force took control of my loins. We were soon rolling atop the grave in the throes of moonstruck lust. After howling like a banshee when I came, I looked up at the moon as wispy clouds began cloaking it.

Kathy joined us, rolling on the ground, laughing and hugging both of us, unmindful of Marcia’s naked breasts that glowed and pulsated in muted moonlight.

“Close your eyes and count to ten before you open them,” Marcia said.

I counted to three before opening my eyes and finding myself alone. They didn't answer when I called their names.

I left the graveyard, returning alone to Graveside where the bartender handed me another drink.

“Where are your two ladies?”

“Went home without me," I said.

***

I returned to the cemetery the following day. Not yet open, the main door was locked so I entered through a maintenance gate. Rain had fallen just before dawn and a rolling mist hung over damp ground and water-dimpled gravestones. I climbed the little hill to the gravesite where I had last seen Marcia and Kathy. When I read the inscription, I had a start.

Marcia Hanson, the inscription said. Died too soon in a tragic car accident. Born July 6, 1967. Died October 31, 1991. The adjacent gravestone was a virtual twin. It also said, Died too soon in a tragic car accident. Kathy Benson, Born November 10, 1969, died October 31, 1991.

I started to walk away but turned to reread the inscriptions. As I stared at the polished gravestones, gentle rain began falling, evaporating almost as soon as it touched my shoulders. Leaving the graveyard, I wondered if I would ever believe my vivid memories, or relegate them in my mind as a fading wet dream.

END


Born in Louisiana, Eric Wilder grew up listening to his grandmother’s tales of corrupt politics, and ghosts that haunt the night. He is author of the French Quarter Mystery Series set in New Orleans. Please check his Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBook author pages.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Big Billy's Cajun Catfish Fingers with Terrebonne Dipping Sauce - a weekend recipe

Big Billy wasn’t a Cajun but he enjoyed cooking like one. He got this recipe from a Terrebonne Parish cousin, adding the beer to the batter to add his own personal touch. Enjoy.

Cajun Catfish Fingers

Ingredients

• 4 large catfish fillets cut into 1-inch strips
• 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 8 oz beer
• Dash Cajun hot sauce
• Peanut oil for frying

Directions

Add 1 cup of flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to a shallow bowl and mix well. Add beer, 2nd cup of flour, and dash of Cajun hot sauce in a second shallow bowl and mix well. Dredge catfish fingers in flour mixture, and then beer batter. Fill a cast iron skillet with peanut oil. Fry fingers in a single layer until they are golden brown and flake easily—2 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on a brown paper bag

Terrebonne Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• ¼ cup stone ground grainy mustard
• 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 Tbsp honey
• ½ Tbsp lemon juice
• Dash Cajun hot sauce

Directions

Combine ingredients and mix until well blended. Chill until ready to serve.

####

Born in Louisiana, Eric Wilder grew up listening to his grandmother’s tales of corrupt politics, and ghosts that haunt the night. He is author of the French Quarter Mystery Series set in New Orleans. Please check his AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBook author pages.




Friday, October 26, 2012

Wild Urban Turkeys - Edmond, Oklahoma

My office backs up to a wooded creek, eroded into Permian sandstone to a depth of about ten feet. With the persistant Oklahoma drought the creek is mostly dry, though pools of water exist along its route. This creek and ten acres of undeveloped property nearby is the home for many wild animals. Yesterday, eight wild turkeys were pecking around outside the office. They looked well fed and I suspect someone in the neighborhood is putting out food for them.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Unlikely Celebrity Cookbooks

I found this interesting article at Abebooks. Lucille Ball? Will Rogers? Yes, they had cookbooks and you won't believe how many others. Check out this article at Unlikely Celebrity Cookbooks.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Avery Island Pelicans and Michoud Sunset

A couple of great pics by brother-in-law Dennis Seal. For a couple of stories about Dennis, check out Lily's Little Cajun Cookbook. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bourbon Street Bare - Hurricane Isaac Invades Louisiana


Bourbon Street Bare
Hurricane Isaac visits Louisiana almost seven years, to the day, after Katrina. Unlike the monster hurricane that struck New Orleans in 2005, Isaac is only a Category One, likely bringing lots of rain, storm surge, and flooding, but not the tremendous wind speeds of Katrina. Most of the residents of New Orleans stayed home to ride out the storm. Good luck, Big Easy!

Eric'sWeb

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bird Deaths in Edmond Oklahoma

Crow in Eric's Backyard

Edmond Crow
I’m a bird watcher and so is wife Marilyn, our backyard rich in birdbaths and feeders. Since I moved to Edmond, I’ve marveled at the species of bird in the area. One thing that always amazed me was the many crows that live near my house. Crows  are social creatures and you rarely see one alone. They are intelligent and I’ve heard you can even teach them to speak.

A month or so ago, Marilyn went out our front door and noticed a crow in distress. It had fallen to the ground and was struggling to stand. Not long after, she found its body. When I got home, I disposed of it, noting that the bird looked young and healthyexcept that it was dead.
Since I’ve lived in Edmond, I can’t remember not seeing lots of crows. Since the bird’s death, I’ve only seen one in our neighborhood. Tonight, when I was leaving a local watering hole, I noticed a crow on the grass in front of my car. As I watched, it walked in circles on the ground, its mouth open wide. When I approached it, it didn’t fly away. I didn’t wait around to see it keel over and die.
My first thought was someone must be poisoning the crows in Edmond, and maybe not just the crows. Thinking about it though, I can’t recall seeing so few birds in the area since I moved here. Is there an environmental pollutant killing our bird population, or someone poisoning them, or maybe some bird influenza rapidly taking down the avian population. I wonder. Am I the only one that’s noticed this?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mavis' RC Soft Custard - a weekend recipe

Here’s a recipe my mom used to make for my brother Jack and me. We both loved RC’s. Growing up without air-conditioning in hot and humid Louisiana, the cool custard hit the spot on a hot summer’s day. The recipe came from a cookbook she had called Favorite Recipes, compiled by the Pilot Club of Shreveport. Many of the recipes were attributed to someone. This one was not.
Ingredients 

·         1 bottle Royal Crown cola
·         2 eggs
·         2 Tbsp. sugar
·         1/8 tsp. salt
Directions 

Add sugar and salt to eggs and beat. Add the bottle of Royal Crown cola and cook over hot water until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Pour into custard cups and chill in refrigerator until set. Serve and enjoy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Of Moths and Men

My garage is partially connected to my utility room and stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. My kitty Buttercup has a bed on top of my old Triumph TR4 and usually sleeps there every night. I have a lamp with a small wattage bulb that is always on.

Tonight, when I was giving Buttercup a kitty treat, I was greeted by what I at first thought was a large butterfly. It had gotten into the garage somehow and was fluttering around, desperately looking for a way out.

The creature was dark, and the more I looked at it, the more I began to think it was a bat. It was that large. Finally, it landed on a rafter and didn't move. I went into the kitchen, returning with a flashlight to see what I was dealing with.

The creature was neither butterfly nor bat. It was, in fact, a moth. A very large moth. I returned to the kitchen for a paper towel.

Very gingerly, I surrounded the moth and took it outside, unfolding the paper on the shrubbery, beneath a floodlight. It was then I saw the creature was even bigger than I had originally thought, with a wingspan of at least six inches. I kid you not! Shutting the garage door, I returned to the kitchen for my camera.

The moth was still on the paper towel when I returned with my camera but it gave me not even a second to point, focus and shoot. Fluttering off the paper towel, it passed in front of the floodlight, giving me one last glorious view, then fluttered away into the darkness and disappeared.

Even without my picture, I felt honored that I had witnessed such a large, beautiful and stately creature, and glad that I hadn't hurt it in my quest to rescue it from its captivity.

Eric'sWeb

Friday, July 06, 2012

Bargain Month at Smashwords

It's the July Summer sale going on at Smashwords.com.  All my ebooks are marked down at least half and many are free, including Lily's Little Cajun Cookbook, and Mama Mulate's Little Creole Cookbook. My books aren't the only bargains as many authors have also discounted theirs. Please check out my Smashwords homepage, and I hope you find many bargains. Eric

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eric Wilder Announces Publication of New Cookbook

A character in Eric Wilder’s French Quarter Mystery Series, Mama Mulate is the business partner of sleuth Wyatt Thomas. New Orleans’ favorite voodoo mambo can cook as well as she casts spells and mixes secret potions. Here are twenty-two of her favorite Creole recipes, along with the bonus short story Conjure Man.

Check out Mama Mulate’s Little Cajun Cookbook and let it cast a spell on your taste buds. In addition to his French Quarter mysteries Big Easy and City of Spirits, Eric Wilder is also the author of Lily’s Little Cajun Cookbook, Big Billy’s Little Texas Cookbook, and bestselling Southern Comfort Food Cookbook.

Buy on Amazon

Eric'sWeb

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Punography

Fun with words:

I changed my
i Pod name to Titanic. It's syncing now.

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid . He says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met
herbivore.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type- O.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

PMS jokes aren't funny, period.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations .

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.

Energizer battery arrested. Charged with battery.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it!

Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't
control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

Broken pencils are pointless.

I tried to catch some fog. I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive
vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank,
but it does have a Liverpool .

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in New York 's
police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Velcro - what a rip off!

Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.

Venison for dinner? Oh deer!

Earthquake in Washington
obviously government's fault.

I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Congratulations Miami

Congrats, Miami. You played your heart out. Sorry my Thunder didn't win but they just got beat by one of the most extraordinary teams in the NBA ever! At least now maybe I can get back to my writing. p.s. I'm proud of you, Thunder, and proud of OKC.

Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun Trivia Facts about Oklahoma

A friend emailed me this list. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

<><>
Subject: Interesting trivia about Oklahoma

1. The bread twist tie was invented in Maysville.
2. The shopping cart was invented in Ardmore in 1936.
3. The nation's first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.
4. The first Girl Scout Cookie was sold in Muskogee in 1917.
5. Cimarron County, located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, is the only county in the U.S. bordered by 4 separate states ­ Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas .
6. The Oklahoma State Capital is the only capital in the U.S. with working oil wells on its grounds.
7. Boise City, Okla., was the only city in the United States to be bombed during World War II. On Monday, July 5, 1943, at 12:30am., a B-17 Bomber based at Dalhart Army Air Base, Texas, dropped six practice bombs on the sleeping town, mistaking the city lights as target lights. Incompetent America has been around for a long time.
8. WKY Radio in Oklahoma City was the first radio station transmitting west of the Mississippi River .
9. The nation's first "tornado warning" was issued March 25, 1948 in Oklahoma City minutes before a devastating tornado. Because of the warning, no lives were lost.
10. Oklahoma has the largest Native American population of any state in the U.S.
11. The name ' Oklahoma ' comes from two Choctaw words ­ okla meaning ""people" and humma meaning "red." So the name means, "Red People." The name was approved in 1890.
12. Oklahoma has produced more astronauts than any other state.
13. Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state (including Caddo County's Fort Cobb Lake).
14. During the "Land Rush," Oklahoma City and Guthrie went from vast, open prairie to cities of over 10,000 in a single day.
15. The nation's first "Yield" traffic sign was erected in Tulsa on a trial basis.
16. The Pensacola Dam on Grand Lake is the longest multi-arched dam in the world at 6,565 feet.
17. The Port of Catoosa (just north of Tulsa) is the largest inland port in America .
18. The aerosol can was invented in Bartlesville .
19. Per square mile, Oklahoma has more tornadoes than any other place in the world.
20. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was in Moore, Okla., on May 3, 1999 during the Oklahoma City F-5 tornado. The Wind speed, clocked at 318 mph, came within a mile of the Johnson Home on Winding Creek.
21. The Will Rogers World Airport and the Wiley Post Airport are both named after two famous Oklahomans, both killed in the same airplane crash.
22. The first female college west of Mississippi was in Tahlequah

And Oklahoma Towns Offer It All ­

Love the Summer?
Poolville, Oklahoma
Sunray, Oklahoma

Want Something To Eat?
Cookietown, Oklahoma
Corn, Oklahoma
Grainola, Oklahoma
Hominy, Oklahoma
Olive, Oklahoma
South Coffeeville , Oklahoma
Sweetwater, Oklahoma

Why Travel To Other Cities? Oklahoma Has Them All!
Cleveland, Oklahoma
Orlando, Oklahoma
Miami, Oklahoma
Pittsburgh, Oklahoma
Santa Fe, Oklahoma
St. Louis, Oklahoma
Chattanooga, Oklahoma
Peoria, Oklahoma
Burbank, Oklahoma
Fargo, Oklahoma

Don't Forget The Wildlife!
Bison, Oklahoma
Buffalo, Oklahoma
Deer Creek, Oklahoma
Eagle, Oklahoma
Elk City, Oklahoma
Fox, Oklahoma
Wolfe, Oklahoma

There's A Town Named After A Number:
Forty-One, Oklahoma

And A Town Whose Letters Don't Spell Anything:
IXL, Oklahoma

For The Sportsman Who Wants To Get Away From It All...
Fisherman's Paradise, Oklahoma

We Even Have A City Named After Earth's Only Satellite!
Moon, Oklahoma

And A City Named After Our State!
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Feeling A Bit Chilly?
Cold Springs, Oklahoma
Snow, Oklahoma
Slick, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Is Full Of Love!
Bigheart , Oklahoma
Lovedale , Oklahoma
Loveland , Oklahoma
Lovell , Oklahoma
Loyal, Oklahoma

Like To Read About The Presidents?
Adams, Oklahoma
Carter, Oklahoma
Clinton, Oklahoma
Fillmore, Oklahoma
Grant, Oklahoma
Jefferson, Oklahoma
Johnson, Oklahoma
Lincoln, Oklahoma
Reagan, Oklahoma
Roosevelt, Oklahoma
Taft, Oklahoma
Taylor, Oklahoma
Washington, Oklahoma
Wilson, Oklahoma

Other City Names In Oklahoma To Make You Smile...
Bowlegs, Oklahoma
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
Bushyhead , Oklahoma
Frogville , Oklahoma
Hooker, Oklahoma
Loco, Oklahoma
Slapout , Oklahoma
Slaughterville , Oklahoma

And Regardless What Side Of The Fence You're On...
Gay , Oklahoma
Straight, Oklahoma

Monday, June 18, 2012

UFO Sighting

UFO against blue sky
I was lying on my back in the pool, just before dark tonight. Looking up, I spotted a distant object shaped somewhat like a distended drop of oil. It wasn't moving away from me, or getting closer, but it did appear to move slowly up and down. Very slowly. I confess, I didn't have my glasses on so I didn't get a clear view of the object. It could possibly have been a weather balloon. Anyway, it was a UFO to me since it was flying and I couldn't identify it. I drew a picture but I'm not an artist and this is just a feeble attempt to show what it looked like.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, June 09, 2012

More Urban Ducks



 More pics of the migratory birds that return to Edmond every spring. The two offspring are almost grown.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Urban Ducks


An early morning thunderstorm added to the humidity already rampant in central Oklahoma. As I took my afternoon walk, it made the day’s ninety-degree temperature feel like a hundred. Many creeks dissect hilly Edmond. A pair of wild ducks lives in a small pond formed by one of the creeks. Though Marilyn disagrees, I say they are the same two ducks that have been returning to the neighborhood every year for the past seven years.


The ducks found this pond last year. Now, they have a pair of ducklings they hatched and are raising. A year ago, the pond was tiny, affected like the rest of Oklahoma by persistent drought. No drought in 2012. Tonight, as I took a dip in my pool and played with my pups, I stared up at the full moon, peaking through hazy cloud cover. The humidity makes me happy. I bet my two favorite ducks also love it, and despite what Marilyn thinks, I’ll see them at the pond again next year.

Eric'sWeb

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Okies

I was out on a well today. It’s only May but the temperature had already reached into the nineties. Like clockwork, the completion rig was broken down when I reached the location. Ricky, the rig operator had an excuse.
“My baby daughter has asthma. When she went into convulsions this morning, the wife and I took her to Children’s.”

“Oh my God!” I said. “Is she okay?”

“She has pneumonia in the lower lobe of her left lung. She needs to go to the hospital, now, the doctor told us. We couldn’t afford to put her in and asked if there was anything else we could do. They gave her two big shots of antibiotics in the rear and a prescription. If she goes into convulsions again, they said, take her straight to the hospital.”
There are no trees on a drilling location. Wind was blowing at least thirty miles an hour. My eyes were red from blinking.

“She’ll grow out of it,” he said.

“Yes,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
Ricky and Josh, both young enough to be my grandsons, began swabbing the well as Oklahoma sun did its best to cook our brains. I’d been there before, but both those boys seemed older than me. Maybe they were. We sucked up hot, unspent acid from the well and flowed it into an earthen pit. The pit roiled, acting like a demon, intent upon gobbling up a fresh carcass.

“Did you hear about the shooting in Bricktown last night?” Ricky asked when we took a break.
He didn’t change expressions when I said, “A sports writer from Minnesota said it’s all you can expect from a bunch of Okie’s.”

Ricky and Josh were still working when I drove away from the location, thanking God there are still Okie’s in this world.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Former Death Investigator Comments on the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office

My name is G. Terry Felts. I was born (1949) and raised in Oklahoma City. During both undergraduate and graduate studies at UCO, I served internships at the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Upon graduation with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Management and Administration, then Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Fred Jordan, appointed me death investigator for Pottawatomie, Logan, Lincoln and Payne counties. Over the subsequent 8 years I investigated just short of 1,000 deaths.

During my tenure I participated in both the OK Bomb and May 3, 1999 tornado investigations. In 1999, I opened Private Autopsy Service, LLC which I continue to operate to date. I maintain a good professional relationship with OCME and think the talent and professionalism they demonstrate daily is second to none.

When the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) dropped the OCME’s accreditation they acknowledged the staff, both professional and technical, were doing a great job but that continuous underfunding by our legislature had taken a toll on facility, equipment and too few Doctors. Obliviously, this is the fault of our elected representatives not OCME. Our legislature feels if you want to change the office, let it fail. After failing you can rebuild it the way you want it. The charges filed against Rowland, firing of Dr. Trant and accusations’ against Slater all turned to dust, however the public now believed the lie framed by their elected representatives.

My investigation reveals this political agenda first appeared during the legislative tenure of Fred Morgan and subsequently, Glenn Coffee both of whom are attorneys, representing banker, insurance and finance clients and focused on TORT REFORM. The OCME has the sole responsibility in the State of Oklahoma for investigating sudden, violent, unexpected and suspicious deaths. Information gleaned from these medico legal investigations is frequently required in the form of evidence and expert testimony in CIVIL and criminal litigation.

When a death occurs on the job or appears work related, the result of the medico legal investigation is of direct benefit to the family in order that insurance claims may be appropriately settled. These investigations also help identify defective or unsafe consumer products, undiagnosed illness and injury among other things. Through intentional underfunding fewer investigations take place and focus is placed on criminal rather than civil cases.

EDMOND OUTLOOK published an article 6-4-10, “Chamber Top Priorities Passed by Oklahoma Legislature.”

“Moving the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office to Edmond and revision to workers compensation were the two top legislative priories for the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce for this legislative session. Both measures passed both the Senate and House and now await the Governor’s signature.

Revisions to worker compensation are estimated to save Oklahoma employers 60 million dollars. “These savings benefit Edmond small businesses helping to reduce expenses during a tight economy”, said Ken Moore, President and CEO of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Moving the Medical Examiner’s office to Edmond helps to expand a core business in our community” said Moore.

‘We are grateful to Mayor Patrice Douglas and members of the Oklahoma Legislature for their leadership in making this import priority for Edmond a reality pending the governor signature.”

“We know this was a difficult session for the legislature. We salute senators Lamb and Jolly and Representatives Miller, Moore, McDaniel, Cooksey and Murphy for their leadership” concluded Moore.”

Originally, moving OCME to Edmond was to merge it with OSBI, hence the appointment of retired agent Tom Jordan to the position of administrator. Jordan functioned as Coffey’s lackey until the news of charges being filed against lawmakers regarding Leftwich’s bribery case emerged. At some point, UCO realized the opportunity to construct a 40+ million dollar structure on their campus, obtain financing and the taxpayers would pay for it. The lawmakers have constructed a scenario where they can attempt to convince the citizens they are attempting to “fix” the problems with a new building.

In considering the potential relocation of the State Medical Examiner’s office from its current location on the OU Medical campus in Oklahoma City, to Edmond OK, I can’t help but remember the aftermath of the OK Bomb. The medical campus was the perfect location for the onslaught of professional medical, dental and law enforcement assistance that was required during that terrible time in our state’s history. The dead were stored in refrigerated trailers next to the building as the tedious job of identification and evidence collection moved slowly forward.

As some of us are aware, our government does not believe this was a once in a life time event. We have constantly prepared for the reality that similar events will occur in our not too distant future. One only has to pass the OU Emergency Room entrance at NW 13th and Lincoln Blvd. to observe the newly erected decontamination building out front. You will also notice it has multiple doors to accommodate a large volume of traffic. The presents of the building, in front of our state’s only Level-One trauma facility is indicative of the potential future events being either biological or radiological in nature.

Unfortunately, targets of such events are usually the more populated areas. Why would you want to transport contaminated remains and evidence to another city during such a crisis? It is critical that isolation become the watch word in this situation. The authoritative publication, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward” warns us that merging the Medical Examiner’s function with law enforcement is the path backward. Even the Oklahoma Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association has voted unanimously to oppose a merger of this type.

Moving this office to Edmond is the first step to the ultimate goal of the merger. However, whether a merger were to take place or not, the move is ludicrous at best. If you were to interview Dr. Eric Pfeifer today, he would tell you he needs equipment and additional Doctors NOW! He would tell you the building can wait. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s system was legislated into existence in 1961; however it was never funded until 1967 and has been habitually underfunded ever since.

The office has functioned well over the years in spite of funding until the population hence rising death rate, age of equipment and facility began to synergistically decay. If the legislature intended to correct the problem they would provide additional funding today but the legislature wants the focus on the building. Only an idiot would believe a 40million dollar building, on the UCO campus, in Edmond OK is going to solve the problems faced by OCME without additional funding.

The Oklahoma voters have to be made aware of the folly of this agenda. By standing moot we have joined in the debacle that is about to take place and are as responsible as the perpetrators. Please assist me in educating the public and stand in history as the opposing minority to this sham on the taxpayer’s pocketbook.

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Hot Day in April

As I started my walk this evening, dark clouds floated overhead, humidity making it feel like a summer day. Late April, the temperature reached 95 degrees yesterday and almost as hot today. It didn’t matter because my mind and body were basking in the feeling of accomplishment.


My New Orleans thriller, City of Spirits went live last night on Amazon, leaving me happy and sad; happy the book is finally completed but sad to leave the fictional world and characters behind. ‘Writer’s depression’ has yet to set in as I pen these paragraphs. Doesn’t matter because I know it will. This time I’m ready for it.

As I walked this evening, I mentally outlined the first chapters of a new book. Will it ultimately end up as I envision it? Probably not. Stories have a life of their own, usually becoming something you least expect. Like 95 degrees in April.

Eric'sWeb
 
Amazon/Eric's Page

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Cold, Misty Rain

Misty rain fell as I walked through the neighborhood tonight. It reminded me of a similar rainy night that I spent during basic training at Fort Polk in Louisiana.

I spent years trying to forget my tour of duty in the Army. Now that I’m older, I sometimes have trouble remembering exact details of things that happened in the past. No problem! I’m a fiction writer. If I can’t remember the exact details of an event - Well, you get the picture.

This event took place during the last week of basic training. Despite an aging brain and attempts to forget this period of my life, it remains branded in my memory with blazing detail. There were four of us, Tommy, Robert, Bob and me.

We spent the last week of basic training camping out and undergoing exercises designed to test our resolve. The four of us were a team in a game called “elude and evade,” or at least something to that effect. A truck dropped the four of us off on a Louisiana road deep in the forest.

We had no light, food, water, or compass. Our mission was to make it back to the base camp, a mile or two away, without capture. If the enemy captured us, they would torture and abuse us, the drill sergeants told us. It was raining, a mild drizzle, but still wet.

“No one’s catching me,” Tommy said. “I been huntin’ since I was five and I can get around in the woods like a fox.”

Uh huh! It was dark within the hour, the four of us completely and totally lost, the trees so tall we couldn’t see the stars or the hazy moon. Since we had no watches, we didn’t know the time. We only knew how tired we were and how desperate we felt.

“Shit, my feet hurt!” Robert said. “Maybe we should just give up.”

Tommy shook his head. “You see or hear anyone out there? Who you gonna give up too?”

“Then what are we going to do?” Bob from Wisconsin asked.

“They are patrolling the dirt road. Let’s catch a few hours of sleep. When the sun comes up, we’ll go out to the road and follow it back to the base station. If we hear a truck, we’ll just hide in the trees until it passes.”

With no better plan, my three companions accepted my suggestion. The ground was hard but I was asleep soon after I closed my eyes. It was morning when I opened them again.

“Which way is the road?” Bob asked.

“That’s east because I can see the reflection of the sun,” Tommy said. “Follow me.”

We eventually came out on the dirt road, turned right and followed it. We soon heard an approaching truck and dived back into the forest. Once it passed, we got back on the road, walking for almost an hour until we reached the base camp. No one seemed to notice, or to care as we straggled into camp, going directly to the food line and not caring that a cold misty rain was falling on our aching backs.

No one ever told us, but we were the only team that made it back to base camp intact and not captured. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, but I guess it’s just that when you have a problem that seems unsolvable, sometimes the best thing you can do is sleep on it.

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New French Quarter Murder Mystery

City of Spirits front cover
It's Mardi Gras in the Big Easy and two boats have sunk in the main channel of the Mississippi River, denying river passage both in and out of New Orleans. When detective Tony Nicosia's partner is stabbed during a Carnival parade, the Chief assigns him a new partner with the unlikely name of Marlon Bando.


To make matters worse, Tony's wife Lil is demanding he retire; a woman named Venus who is half his age is making a serious play for him; and a killer is on the loose. French Quarter sleuth Wyatt Thomas has problems of his own: his ex-wife's wake; a new client that wants proof that he isn't a passeblanc; beautiful twin sisters named Desire and Dauphine; and a voodoo curse likely cast by Marie Laveau herself. Get ready for a ride!

If you like New Orleans, check out the sequel to Big Easy, the original French Quarter murder mystery by Louisiana mystery writer Eric Wilder.

Eric'sWeb



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jupiter and Venus Aligned

Kate and suspended broom

Solstice Crow
Tuesday is the spring solstice.  Jupiter and Venus are in alignment. Here are a couple of pics. I took the broom pic an hour or so ago. Yes, the planets are in alignment.

Eric'sFacebookPage

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

Beginning March 12, the two brightest planets in the sky will be so close together that you'll be able to block both of them out with a few fingers held at arm's length. The celestial action peaks Thursday March 15, when Venus and Jupiter line up in what's known as a planetary conjunction.
Venus-Jupiter conjunctions are fairly special events, occurring roughly every 13 months. And this one should be the best conjunction for several years to come for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, experts say, because the two planets will be visible for so long in the evening sky. At mid-northern latitudes on Thursday, the pair should blaze bright over the western horizon for about four hours after sunset.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mama Mulate's Oysters and Champagne - a weekend recipe

Mama Mulate, voodoo mambo and character in the mystery novel Big Easy, loves oysters. This is one of her favorite recipes whenever she’s not eating them on the half-shell.










Ingredients
·         24 oysters, in shells
·         1 c fresh cream
·         1 T butter
·         1 c champagne brut
·         3 shallots , finely chopped
·         ¼ lemon, juice only
·         3 egg yolks
·         1 sprig of dill , finely chopped
·         1 dash horseradish
·         1 pinch saffron
·         Pepper to taste

Directions
Place cheesecloth over a bowl. Open the oysters over the bowl and recover all liquid. Separate the oyster shells and reserve the oysters. Combine egg yolks, cream, ½ c champagne, chopped dill, horseradish, saffron and lemon juice. Mix well. Add pepper to taste.
Heat ½ T butter in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shallots with ½ c of champagne. Reduce the mixture for 5 minutes, or until there is only a small amount of fluid in the pan. Add the cream mixture, egg and oyster liquid to the pan. Reduce by half for about 10 minutes over medium heat while stirring. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil.
Add oysters and poach for 3 minutes. Remove the oysters and place them in their shells. Stir ½ T butter into champagne sauce and whisk vigorously over the heat to combine. Coat each oyster, in its shell, with sauce. 

To stabilize oysters in the oven and keep them parallel with the cookie sheet while cooking, position them on about ¼” of coarse salt. Cook for 3 minutes in preheated oven at 250 °. The sauce should be nicely browned. Serve with toasted French bread.